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Quotes on Why Writing Matters

A selection of quotes on why writing matters, on how it keeps us sane, and how writing changes things.

Making Sense of Life

1. Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.~ Nadime Gordimer

2. I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

3. I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear ~ Joan Didion

4. And men spend their lives adding and subtracting and dictating letters when they secretly long to write sonnets and play the violin and burst into tears at the sunset. ~ Brenda Ueland

5. Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable ~ George Bernard Shaw

6. You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~ Ray Bradbury

Breathing Room

7. What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit ~ John Updike

8. By words the mind is winged.~ Aristophanes

9. Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals. ~ Don DeLillo

The Legacy

10. Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do … so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime. ~ Ray Bradbury

11. I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge – myth is more potent than history – dreams are more powerful than facts – hope always triumphs over experience – laughter is the cure for grief – love is stronger than death ~ Robert Fulghum

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